19th November 2008

How Can I pardon You? – Jeremiah 5:7-9

7 “How can I pardon you?
Your children have forsaken me
and have sworn by those who are no gods.
When I fed them to the full,
they committed adultery
and trooped to the houses of whores.
8 They were well-fed, lusty stallions,
each neighing for his neighbor’s wife.
9 Shall I not punish them for these things?
declares the Lord;
and shall I not avenge myself
on a nation such as this?

Wow. As I read this I look at my own attitude towards God in light of the many possessions I have. I have truly been fed to the full and I covet things that are not mine. How can I expect God’s pardon, aside form the mercy of Jesus’ sacrifice? I/we have come far from the design of God in this world. The additional blessings we afford in these United States offer only more temptation to sin and ignore the fact that God is the provider of our met needs.

Lord forgive me for taking your blessings for granted…. for looking inward and outward for my own good and not to you for sustenance and hope. Forgive me for not sharing my possessions with those in need and grabbing after things I don’t even own. Your grace should be sufficient.

Thank you for the greatest gift – that I should sell all my possessions for – the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ your son. Thank you for not giving me your wrath and judgment. Thank you for not being “fair” and for not repaying my evil with evil. Instead you have turned aside your justice and placed it on Him.

Please help me to turn aside from pride, from greed, lust and envy. Help me to look to you and only you and see the truth of your word and your love.

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18th November 2008

Caleb Discovers that Artists Get Paid

Tina made the mistake of telling Caleb that artists actually get paid for their artwork… Watch how fast this 5 year old can crunch numbers!

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18th November 2008

Romans 5 – Peace With God

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

It’s amazing to see what it means to have peace with God. We are a people who have utterly offended him. I have broken all of His commandments and trampled on His laws. It seems such a simple sentence to be justified by faith, but the continuing passage describes that the power lies not in my faith, but in the sole redeeming power of Jesus, the second Adam.

Just as sin spread through the world through one man, Adam, Jesus has allowed redemption to spread through many by His one selfless act of mercy.

To have peace with God. Actual peace. In the old testament we are reading through Jeremiah and there is no peace. In fact, the nation of Israel is being judged by God. I deserve that type of judgment. To be stripped bare. To be removed from any place I have, any comfort, any safety. To be woken up to who God is and His power over me and my position, and my possessions.

“Remove the foreskin of your hearts” it says (Jeremiah 4:4). Indeed, the hardness of my heart and my unwillingness to obey him are astounding. And God opens with a simple statement that if we return, we should return to HIM. We should not waver. The alternative is God’s wrath, discipline and judgment.

And yet, in Romans, Paul reminds us that we have peace. How can this be? I am so detestable to Him in my actions and my selfishness and my disregard for His authority. And yet I have peace? This is the amazing love of God through Jesus His son. This is something only God can fully comprehend and execute. There is no self-justification for who I am and what I’ve done. I deserve death. And yet I have peace.

“To God be the glory” means much more than it did a few minutes ago.

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17th November 2008

God’s Veiled Mercy – 2 Kings 8

So many times I think that I must understand God’s plan in order to follow it, but simple obedience is all that is ever requested. In 2 Kings 8, the Shunammite woman is told to “Arise, and depart with your household, and sojourn wherever you can, for the Lord has called for a famine, and it will come upon the land for seven years.”

Now this is just after Elisha had restored her son to life. Without any mention of argument or questioning, the woman does as Elisha commands. The end result should not be surprising, her return coincides with a discussion between the King and one of Elisha’s servants. They are discussing her and her son’s resurrection – one of the “great things Elisha has done.”

Not only was the woman warned of the 7 year famine so that she could avoid it, she ends up regaining her possessions and the fruit of the land for the 7 years she was gone. This is an unheard of blessing.

God’s mercy is often far greater than we can imagine. Faith in Him is what is required and what we should strive for obedience in.

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6th November 2008

Approaching people

I’m not sure how much of these thoughts are correctly based on scripture, but I couldn’t help but wonder how much my personal pride causes me to treat others in ways that they may not deserve. When the captain and fifty soldiers approached Elijah they were proud and demanding, feeling that they were in a position of power and might against the lone man of God. How many times do I approach others as if I am something special – knowing nothing of their circumstance or situation?

God is so incredibly wondrous. His omniscience and omnipotence means that He can condescend to use anyone for His purposes. In addition, His grace means that often we find He condescends to use those we may think “unusable”.

I confess that I often assume I know who is worthy of my time and respect – and who is not. All are worthy of our time and respect. Love our enemies. I have not. Treat our neighbors as ourselves. I have not. Love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. I have not. Forgive me and help me to humble myself and regard others as far greater than myself.

Thank you Lord for second chances. Thank you for opening my eyes to my pride and selfishness. Thank you for making us part of your wondrous plan. Thank you for loving us and caring for and about us.

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24th September 2008

Day 3 – Still Going Strong

So Tom and I have been officially going on the house “master suite” project for 3 days now. It’s been torn apart, restructured and we’ve got the plumbing almost finished. Half the flooring is in and we’re about ready to start raising walls (which should go up tomorrow). Don’t have time for many words, so please feel free to check out some pics of what we’ve done so far…

Read the rest of this entry »

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17th September 2008

Friday “it” begins

We’re tearing up the house again. This time we’re creating a master bedroom and bath in the back of the house. Caleb will move to our former master bedroom. Tom Gaige is coming down to help me for two weeks and bang it out. Involves re-roofing, new rafters, framing, plumbing, electrical.. oh, and I’m installing an in-wall AV system (why not). The master will end up being much larger than Caleb’s room plus we’ll have a walk-in closet and a master bath with corner tub and walk-in shower. Read the rest of this entry »

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17th September 2008

Unless You Repent You Will Perish

Luke 13:1 There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? 3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

Jesus drives home an important point here. The people’s circumstances should not be judged, but everyone is equally accountable for their sins and must repent – lest they perish. The Jews seemed to consider consequences more of more of a natural result of sin, much like karma. I think sometimes we (I) spend time thinking people “deserve what they get” as if their very situation is a retribution for their behavior. In fact, we ALL deserve death. Period. The important thing is that we all equally need to repent of our sins – regardless of what situation we’re in. Unless you repent you will perish. Speaking to people who were pointing the finger at the dead, Jesus warns them that they too will die.

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20th August 2008

Caeden’s Hearing Test

Caeden’s hearing test was yesterday. Basically, they just tested to see if hearing could be causing the speech issue. He can hear the entire speech range in at least one ear. Due to that, the Audiologist said there was no reason to put him through the trauma of extensive testing to see if he has partial hearing loss. She said that if I become concerned and see signs of a possible hearing issue, we can test him then.

We saw the speech therapist last week. The only concern I had was that she tested him using a 18-20 month old test and he turned 21 months today. She is not concerned and thinks he may just be lazy (I assume she meant his mouth muscles are lazy =-)). It is amazing to me that there are exercises and stuff to help with forming sounds.

Caeden learned “ball” (he says “baaw”) a few days ago and is so excited that he uses it all the time and very loudly. The produce department at the grocery store was quite amusing. It is amazing how many things are round there.

No one seems to want to give Caeden a diagnosis, but I think that is because I was between pediatricians when I approached the state early intervention program.

posted in Caleb & Caeden | 1 Comment

29th July 2008

Caeden’s Speech Evaluation

Short Answer: Yes, he qualifies. Speech Therapy will start soon.

Long Answer: During the evaluation, they scored Caeden in 5 different areas. 85 and above is normal, but you have to be 79 or below to qualify for the program. His Motor Skills and Cognitive were in the 100’s, but his Self-Help/Adaptive and Social/Emotional were 80, which made me nervous. The last one was Understanding and Communicating where he received a 78, so he qualified for speech therapy through their program. I think his Self-Help/Adaptive and Social/Emotional are affected by his lack of speech. They want us to get a hearing test done by a Pediatric Audiologist which is scheduled for Aug 19 and we need to cut back on signing and reward any non-whining verbal response. After the hearing test, he should have two 30 min. speech therapy sessions a week.

posted in Caleb & Caeden | 2 Comments

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